Zahra’s Zeal – Mental Illness and Burying the Burden of Envy

Burying the burden

Proverbs 14:30; “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

The only time the color green looks good on a woman is when she is sporting a nice tone of green on a piece of garment or some accessory, or even a classy hue of green eye shadow. But when she is wearing the “Mean Green of Envy,” it’s an entirely different story. She exudes such unpleasant energy that virtually no one wants to be around her. How do I know about burying the burden?

Because I was once a jealous woman. And I know the repercussions of being one. And i was ready to start burying the burden.

You see, jealous women are miserable. But guess who is even more miserable? The woman who is the object of the jealous women’s jealousy, and that is precisely where I am now. Is this my punishment? Or perhaps a lesson I am learning so I can help others?

In my late teens, I was a very jealous woman. I wanted what everyone else had; I wanted that big house that we passed by in the car that I did not appreciate; I wanted to win the lottery to be as rich as the family who worked for what they had for years while all I wanted was to have the same riches handed to me in a split second; I wanted to look perfect like that girl and boy, I detested her for looking as lovely as she did. Why was I this way, so entitled, so callous in my thought patterns? Because I had no father to tell me that I was enough, and that what I was given was enough by Our Good Lord. And I clashed so much with my Mom, I did not heed a word of what she said to try to help me. She was raising us alone, I was in the midst of a horrible depression as Father had left a few years prior, and I was angry at the world. I was quite a handful with all my spite at the time. I didn’t want to start burying the burden.

Now I am 30 (and a half – I celebrated my half birthday this past April 21st, yay me!). I am not this way anymore. It took years, but that ugliness that once existed in me so long ago is now dead. I feel nothing but gratitude for every little thing I have. But I also feel pain. I feel the pain that I put other women through. Those who were the object of my jealousy – I now feel what they felt, as I have been the object of jealousy for many women myself, and lost many “friendships” as a result. I have had people say outright to me, “I envy you,” “I’m jealous of you,” “I can’t be your friend because of my jealousy/envy,” etc. And it hurts, it really does. But I don’t think this is God’s way of punishing me, I think he is teaching me, so that I will, 1.) learn how it felt for those whom I envied, so that I can, 2.) help women in my position cope with this horrible feeling of being almost like public enemy #1 to other women. That is hyperbole, obviously, but sometimes it kind of feels like that! Because of certain traits I possess, it is very hard to make friends with women in my age group without having them eventually turn on me.
So what is the bottom line on burying the burden?

There’s just no reason to be jealous. Just be grateful for what you have, and stop looking at what is on other people’s plates. Look at your own food, and enjoy the meal God gave you. Stop counting your problems, count your blessings. No one has everything, but everyone has something. We were each given a different grocery bag with different goods to cook different meals, each just as delicious and worthy as the next person’s. Stop coveting thy neighbor’s goods or you will lose your own. God has a way of teaching lessons. He taught me one, and he will teach one to anybody who needs it. Heed a simple warning before you have to learn the hard way like I did. It is not pleasant, but at least I am able to make the most out of it now. So bury that cumbersome burden of envy already – it’s high time you do so. ?

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